FRISCO, Texas -- Panama might have felt down after failing to clinch a berth at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Wednesday night, but Las Canaleras are certainly not out.
"It is a bittersweet feeling right now," head coach Victor Suarez said after the Central Americans lost a penalty-kick shootout to Jamaica, 4-2, after playing to a 2-2 draw in the third-place match of the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship at Toyota Stadium.
The Panamanians will have a third opportunity to qualify as they will meet Argentina in a two-leg playoff for a spot in France, playing at the South American side on November 5 and hosting on November 13.
"It's just another challenge up front," commented head coach Victor Suarez, who noted Panama will tussle with the country of his birth. "It is good because we had a good experience. We have to continue working on what got us here. It will be a great challenge against Argentina."
Panama's success has allowed several of its young players to taste a higher level and intensity of soccer, including 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey. The 17-year-old was so outstanding that she was named as the tournament's Golden Glove winner and to the Best XI.
"The team gained a lot of experience from this tournament because they were able to have different games at an international competition," Suarez concluded. "A lot of the players were outside the country for the first time and it's a youth team. So, they got a lot of experience."